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How to maintain productivity and stay focused while working remotely?

The answer to this question is quite simple. The biggest challenge in working from home for an PR professional is a lack of structure and routine which you are generally accustomed to in an office environment.

 

It’s up to you to create a work environment at home with a structure that caters to both your professional and lifestyle needs. These six simple tips will help you stay focused and productive throughout your workday at home.

 

Define your working hours

 

It is very easy for your work life to creep into your personal life and vice versa, especially when your office is probably 15 feet away from your bedroom and a simple way to avoid this happening is to define when your work day starts and ends – have a predetermined schedule, whether that is done by your employer or yourself. This rule obviously can be broken when you need to work out of your usual hours to meet a deadline.

 

Designate your workspace

 

Whether you have a home office you set-up shop in the middle of your living room, having a designated workspace can help you mentally prepare to stay focused throughout the day ahead. The bedroom is a strict NO (unless that’s where you’re most productive, in that case, to each his own) because it’s very easy to lose focus and crawl under the covers to take a nap or binge watch your favorite series, especially towards the weekend.

 

Dress for work

 

Dressing up like you normally would if you are going to step into the office will add to your productivity. Wake up, drink your coffee and get dressed like you normally would before you sit down to work. This seemingly insignificant practice can help you mentally prepare yourself for your workday and acts as a level of separation between your work and home life.

 

Avoid tending to household chores

 

Those dirty dishes in the sink, the dirty pile of laundry, a messy living room and everything around you can distract you when you’re working from home. As tempting as they can seem, hold off on all personal talks until your predefined workday is done. Try and tidy up before going to bed every night so that you don’t feel the urge to take it on during your workday.

 

Take scheduled breaks throughout the day

 

Schedule microbreaks throughout your workday besides your lunch break. This will help you recharge both physically and mentally – take a little walk around the house, call up a colleague, check on your social media, etc. to prevent getting too immersed in your work and eventually breaking down.

 

Take advantage of the technology on offer in 2020

 

Not everybody loves being alone. If you’re an extrovert and you thrive on interacting and sharing your ideas with other people, take advantage of text-messaging platforms like Line to converse with your coworkers all day long. If something important comes up, you can connect with your team on Zoom to have virtual face-to-face conversations. At Vivaldi PR, we are set-up to make full use of the technology at hand.

 

Follow these simple steps and you will be good to work from home – focused and just as productive as you’d be at the office.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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HOW WORKING REMOTELY CAN BE BUSINESS AS USUAL

The growing concerns surrounding the spread of Covid-19 is forcing business owners to look at alternatives for how they can stay operational yet protect their staff, customers, and suppliers. For many businesses, one option is to initiate a remote working policy and have all employees work from home. But how is that manageable?

 

Some companies embraced remote working many years ago and they have proven it can be done; one prime example is Automattic, the company behind the popular WordPress website and blogging platform. This is a billion-dollar company with around 400 employees and no offices, that’s right, not one office.

 

The technology available to us all today makes remote working easy and productive. Aside from email, we have Skype, Zoom, Slack, Eko, WhatsApp, and more. Even the good old-fashioned conference call is effective.

 

One of the most important factors to making this work is having a project manager or a project management tool. The aforementioned Slack is one such option, as is Thailand’s own Eko, developed by Korawad Chearavanont as an alternative to Slack and other apps.

 

Change is difficult for many, but when circumstances such as those confronting us all right now arise there is a need to embrace change and make it work for your business.

 

Once a company masters the remote working process they can continue to use it to their benefit once the Covid-19 crisis passes. It opens the door to engaging the skills and talents of freelancers and consultants from all corners of the world. This, of course, expands the capabilities of a company.

 

There is another benefit to embracing remote working and that is staff morale. There are times when some staff may need to be at home for personal or family reasons, giving them the option to work from home while still being a productive member of the team gives them a boost and shows them that the company respects their needs.

 

At Vivaldi, we started to explore the potential of remote work in early 2019 and we have not looked back since. If you would like to discuss our experiences with this and how we make it work for us please feel free to get in touch.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

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Influencers online and elsewhere

It’s not just what you buy, but who you buy it from, and how you buy it. And how, of course, how you browse. Case in point this holiday season is the rainbow of excitement being created by palette influencers. These small boxes that open to reveal a multi-colour range of eye shadow is not just about attracting the boys, but are status symbols in their own right. Getting into digital queues to acquire “in” palettes are long and seen as a privilege to get into. Having the right palette will win you friends in many high schools. The accessory well reflects just how far influencers have gone to win over fans and followers.

Now on You Tube

Vloggers Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson are popularly promoting palettes on the world’s biggest video-sharing platform. Other YouTubers are turning to palates to colour up their brand influence and as stepping stones to becoming beauty and fashion icons of the online world. Palletes have become the must-have fashion accessory this holiday season. The steep prices they have, while turning off some, to others only happily help spread the message that you have arrived. What’s more, some fans of superinfluencers are primarily buying pallets to show their loyalty to the YouTube personalities, and not exactly, for the product.

Dog-ear this

The multi-layered, hyper-modernist phenomenon of practically for shopping for shopping’s sake and to supporting not brands but the promoters of brands is counterbalanced by an old-school promotion technique from yester-century: the catalogue. These glossy, colourful magazines featuring smiling models promoting clothes, home accessories and much, much more, despite having plummeted in overall number in recent years, have carved out a distinctive edge among young adults who crave analogue charms like vinyl records as an antidote to e-mail and social-media overload. The surprise factor and tactile experience of the fabulously lo-tech catalogue has many supporters who crave off-the-grid experiences and still have money to burn. In-the-know digital marketers and online retailers – including Amazon – are using them to drive traffic to their websites. Digital natives are relishing the chance to flip pages and stop scrolling – for a short time, at least.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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How businesses can build reputation during this crisis?

Clear communication and leadership is key for all companies and organizations during the Covid-19 crisis.

 

The total impact of Covid-19 is yet to be understood, but it is imperative that companies and organizations manage the situation sooner rather than later to ensure they can traverse this period in the best possible way and to do this requires a well-defined leadership position and clear and concise communication with staff, stakeholders, and customers.

 

Unexpected events such as these can catch businesses off guard; they can also have a major impact on sales, revenue, and a brand’s reputation if the situation were to be mismanaged.

 

The importance of having protocols in place, both in-house and out-of-house, for prevention and protection cannot be underestimated at this time. These actions are seen and noted by everyone and as such will be remembered once the crisis has passed.

 

So business leaders need to develop a plan and implement it sooner rather than later. It’s key that staff understand the measures being put in place to protect their safety, the same applies to any customers that interact with your staff and also your suppliers. In a world where fake and misleading news is widespread, the onus falls on companies and organizations to put forward reliable and fact-based information.

 

But to ensure this information remains current it needs to be continually updated as new details come to hand from resources such as the World Health Organization, Ministry of Health, and credible and trusted media only.

 

Working closely with your chosen PR and communications partner is an important factor to ensure your messages are as clear and effective as possible. They can also help with internal training to better help the management team respond to both internal and external questions about your preparation, plans, and management of the effects of Covid-19.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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ROI that keeps on giving

A new survey of 9,000 people in the United States shows that consumers are willing to support companies that support the causes important to them. Just over half of respondents said that they had actively supported a cause of importance of them over the last half a year. Almost 70 per cent among this group reported being altruistically active on more than one front, and were engaged in activities such as making monetary donations, signing petitions and participating in protests.

 

Build a better planet

 

Americans of all ages expressed willingness to stand up for what they thought was important. Issues supported varied, with the topics of stopping global warming and strengthening anti-firearms legislation being particularly popular. Other matters of concern included boosting animal rights, and protecting and promoting opportunities related to women and children, plus expanding access to educational opportunities throughout society. Survey takers reported significant interest in willingness to support and buy from companies perceived as being in synch with their own values.

 

Towards egalitarianism, maybe

 

The onus is on companies to evidence their engagement in helping build a fairer society. Although 180 firms in the US recently signed an agreement to enacting economic policy that would support all people in the country, over half of respondents said that they doubted that companies would actually deliver on this promise. If and when companies took a position contrary to their own, almost 75 per cent of American consumers said they could overlook this and still buy their products and services. However, around half of respondents said they would need a good reason from a company’s leadership explaining their position.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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Press releases done right – Part 2

Now that we’re up to speed on what a press release really is, let’s dive in a little deeper into the subject. For those of you wondering when and what you should write on a press release – organizations use press releases to communicate all kinds of messages, but let’s take a look at some of the most common press releases in the PR arsenal first.

 

Breaking news

 

This could be news that will boost brand reputation, information for stakeholders or introduce a new initiative to the public. These releases provide journalists with all the required information to help them break a story and keep their organization transparent to the public eye.

 

Product launch

 

Organizations that have worked hard to build and develop their product are always excited to share their efforts. Product launch press releases are quite common in the automobile and tech industry to announce new models and gadgets. These press releases are used across industries for all kinds of products that are new to the market

 

Partnerships & CSR

 

Organizations can boost their CSR by partnering together to create unique offerings and generate buzz that is mutually beneficial for all organizations involved. These partnerships usually employ joint press releases, for which organizations will work together to create a single, comprehensive press release, including branding and information from all parties involved.

 

Similarly, organizations eager to announce a charitable cause or other CSR initiatives will write and distribute press releases that aim to have stories published that will highlight and demonstrate CSR and amass good will.

 

Crisis communications

 

One of the most important aspects of tackling a crisis is to be ahead of the story. A PR professional representing an organization can use the press release as part of a crisis management strategy to make a statement, clarify facts, apologize and also emphasize on the remedial measures taken.

 

A crisis communication release usually follows a statement issued by an executive at the organization to acknowledge and apologize about what went wrong and also assure the public that they are working on it. A press release usually follows this statement to focus on how the company is moving forward.

 

Events

 

Media Relations experts generally send out invitations with basic event details to journalists as heads-up prior to an event. In this case, press releases are used to provide event highlights to journalists who maybe not be able to attend, and to provide a recap and supporting information to those who do.

 

Awards

 

Awards and accolades give organizations an opportunity to flaunt their achievements and share their successes with the world. Organizations will often use press releases to shout out the good news which can help attract talent, customers or simply boost brand perception.

 

There it is, your starter-pack on press releases with some of its most common types to give you a better understanding of the most valuable tool in the PR arsenal.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

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Press releases done right – Part 1

The press release is perhaps the most valuable tool in the industry, having been around for over 100 years. Public relations professionals have been using this tool to provide accurate, first-hand information to the media and public – the method of distribution is probably the only thing that has changed over the years.

 

The definition of a press release is quite broad. But to sum it all up in plain English – a press release is an official statement prepared by an organization which is sent to the media with the to convince them to publish a story based on information on the release.

 

This basic tool has withstood the test of time simply because it allows PR professionals to check a whole lot of boxes using one piece of content:

°Tell the story the way they want to

°Distribute these stories quickly and economically

°Present facts

°Secure media coverage

°And reach a wider audience

Let’s see how it all works.

 

A job well done typically means a press release goes through three stages:

 

  1. Write : The first and possibly the most important stage of a press release because this represents how your news is sent out to the media and eventually to the public.
    °Find the perfect angle that will resonate with people.
    °Make sure your press release is easy to read – do not ambush your readers with tons of technicalities. Try to find a press release template that works for you.
    °Write an attention-grabbing headline with 2 to 5 strong body paragraphs and supporting details.
    °Don’t forget to include contact information.
  2. Distribute : Once a press release is written, the next step is to distribute it. This can be done in different ways.
    °Pitching targeted media : Distribute the press release to targeted journalists along with personalised pitches to encourage them to read and publish your story. This task can be made easier using a media database.
    °Social media and owned media : You can post your press release on your own social media channels and send them out for internal distribution to members within your organisation’s database.
    °Newswire Services : These services distribute press releases to a large and broad spectrum of journalists. Similar to a social media newsfeed, a wire service is a platform where press releases can be posted and found by any journalist looking for a scoop that day.
  3. Post : After the press release is distributed, it is given a permanent place online to allow access to anyone looking for more information in the future. Many organisations have a “Media” or “News” section, where all of these press releases live forever. Companies that don’t have the resources to post to their own website can also post their releases to an external newsroom.

 

Now that we have a good idea about the life of a press release, let’s take a look at the types of press releases on our next blog.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

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Social media for your business

Mass emails tend to be ignored. It simply lacks the “cool” factor in this social media driven age. But does that mean you should turn to social networking to get your business out there for everybody to see?

 

The answer is no and YES. Facebook is not the best place to share business related content most of the time, Twitter could be a powerful tool if you play your cards right, but LinkedIn is a potential treasure trove for business. This platform exists to connect people and businesses and a well laid-out strategy will generate some high-quality leads, simply because of the professional nature of the platform.

 

LinkedIn as a tool to boost brand image

 

You can use LinkedIn to highlight your thought leadership, keep your followers up-to-speed about the good work you’ve been doing, talk about your company culture and what your employees have been upto and if you have a blog you can feed them directly to your feed. Relevant content should translate to footfall on your website or blog.

 

Your story could be about trends, stats, people, success. LinkedIn’s native video sharing is an effective way to communicate – if you follow a few ground rules on what intrigues people to click and watch a video. A mix of interesting talking points, invigorating visuals and bold, assertive text should do the trick.

 

Some tips to make LinkedIn more productive

 

Share some behind-the-scenes on how you came up with a concept or a product. People are always fascinated by how things are done within an organization. If you have a well-known designer or industry leader, that’s your golden ticket.

 

Talk about your employees and the values they bring to your company. Show-off the hard-work your team puts in during events. You can also showcase new-hires and the hurdles they’ve been through to be a part of your organization. LinkedIn is a great platform to attract the best talent to work in your company.

 

Tease a new product. Product teasers are fascinating, the aura of mystery behind them intrigues people to want to know more about your product and your business.

Native videos on LinkedIn are quite easy to post. But most videos on social media are viewed with the sound turned off. Placing bold, assertive text close to the subject or highlight of the frame is a way to tell your story event with the sound turned off.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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Email is king – but what accounts for its reign?

Despite the rise of social media platforms and their multitude of messaging applications, email remains the go-to communications tool for exchanging messages in the business world. This simple, efficient, inexpensive way of sending and receiving text and visuals was credited as the single-most important way to communicate with clients and customers, according to a new study. All the apps of today fail to compare. Yet much remains unknown about how and why email is used and how effective it still is.

 

Somewhat off-message

 

While communication teams crave knowledge about how useful email and other communications channels are, there is a lack of agreement and ideas on what, exactly, we need to know about the sending and receiving of messages. Deciding what metrics should be used and how to even start measuring communications brings up big challenges. Internal measurement of communications in companies remains mysterious. Finding clarity will be of incalculable worth to digital marketers, since persuasive messages need to be received in optimal right way at the right time if they are to be most effective.

 

Don’t forget to write

 

While ROI and SEO rank highly in the minds of businesspeople and the PR firms that help promote them, the lack of attention paid to how information is exchanged in the information age is of growing concern. Marketers who are able to paint a picture of and take advantage of precisely what effective communication is stand to greatly boost potential in years to come. As IT continues speeding up communication and giving us more options on how to communicate, the metrics of effective messaging will be of increasingly great interest to anyone with something to say.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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At home on the road, now more than ever

It’s never been easier to take a trip and still feel the comforts of home. According to a recent study, the market for accommodation worldwide is worth over $630 billion, and is estimated to take a flying leap to nearly $900 before 2026. Supporting conditions for the growth are surges among several demographics among leisure and business travellers, as well as the development of varied online platforms for booking places to stay. The online option in particular is a game changer for the industry, and has transformed many individual residences into hotel rooms, dramatically multiplying the number of places available to travellers.

 

Opening up

 

Easing up on formerly tedious visa requirements in countries throughout Africa as well China and India is also significantly contributing to the global trend for more widespread travel accommodation bookings in hotels, B&Bs, paying guest accommodation and other places to stay. Accommodation seekers on the road are most interested in mid-range options for their mix of services and reasonable prices.

 

On the move, all the time

 

The growth of tourism and travel overall, particularly the ease of booking tickets online for travel by air, rail and by road, goes hand in hand with the trend. The over-tourism phenomenon, though, shows that some prudence and guidelines may be needed for sustainable long-term growth in the accommodation sector. Both travellers and locals should not be overwhelmed. Otherwise more major cities and venues will have to corrective measures taken by the city of Amsterdam, which recently asked tourists to consider going elsewhere, and has implemented steps designed to gently slow the flow of people coming to enjoy the popular Dutch city.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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